In Ubuntu, pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 brings you to a console login.When you press Ctrl+Alt+F3 it also brings you to a console login. My question is, why use Ctrl+Alt+F1 over Ctrl+Alt+F3 or vice versa, and what are the differences? Why is Ctrl+Alt+F1 always mentioned but never Ctrl+Alt+F3? Thanks for answering my question (if you do)!


Besides the number there is no difference.

There are some examples where more than 1 tty is useful.

  1. tail -f {logfile} will show new entries that are added in the logfile. Where you can use another tty to start, stop a service or do some kind of command line instructions, or do something in mysql.

  2. same goes for analyzing CPU usages on your system: have sar or top/htop run on 1 tty and then use another session to start a browser, a command or service and by switching tty you can check what happens.

And yes you can do that from a terminal in the desktop but not everyone has a desktop ;)

| improve this answer | |
  • But for that we have tmux :) – Jo Be Jun 27 '19 at 6:07

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